Day 01: Mandalay
The last capital of royal Burma, Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar, and a cultural and spiritual center. Neighboring Sagaing is home to over sixty percent of the country's monks, while the artisans of Mandalay continue to turn out the finest crafts in Myanmar. In the morning, head to MAHAMUNI PAYA. The Mahamuni image enshrined here is perhaps the most venerated image in Myanmar, covered in over 15 cm of gold leaf. Worshippers flock daily to the shrine at four in the morning to observe the unique face-washing ceremony. Enroute to the pagoda, stop to observe the laborious process of GOLD-LEAF BEATING, where gold is painstakingly hammered into tissue-thin squares.
Before breaking for lunch, visit a CRAFT WORKSHOP specializing in one of the arts for which the city is famous: bronze-casting, marble-carving, wood-carving, or puppetry. The afternoon's tour includes some of the city's most interesting temples and palaces. Begin at SHWENANDAW KYAUNG, or the Golden Teak Monastery. Built entirely of golden teak, this intricately carved wooden monastery was once part of the Mandalay Palace, used as private apartments by King Mindon and his chief queen.
Continue to KYAUKTAWGYI PAYA, famous for its monumental seated Buddha, carved from a single block of marble. Continue to KUTHODAW PAYA, known also as "the world's biggest book". Around the central stupa are miniature pavilions, each housing a slab of marble Numbering altogether 729, these slabs are inscribed with the entire Tripitkata, or Buddhist scriptures. The final stop is at SHWE KYIN OLD MONASTERY, an old monastery at the base of Mandalay Hill which was built during the period of King Mindon.Visit Mandalay Hill at sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 02: Mandalay ( Breakfast included)
Excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing, and Inwa (Ava). This day tour visits three former royal capitals, each with its own unique atmosphere. In the morning, drive to AMARAPURA, and visit MAHAGANDAYON MONASTERY; every day at mid-morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists. Next, head to SAGAING, the spiritual center of Myanmar. Hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries are to be found in Sagaing Hill, sometimes known as a living Bagan. Thousands of monks and nuns retreat here for meditation and contemplation. Stop at some of the most famous temples, such as SUN U PONYA SHIN PAYA, U MIN THONSEI PAYA and KAUNG HMU DAW PAYA. Cross the river by ferry to INWA, situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Once a royal capital, Inwa is now a quiet rural oasis. Enjoy a leisurely HORSECART RIDE around the peaceful countryside, briefly visiting BAGAYA KYAUNG, a beautiful teak wood monastery, MAHA AUNGMYAY BONZAN KYAUNG, and NAN MYINT TOWER. On the way, stop and observe how local artisans make the famous alms bowls out of iron.
Finally, return to AMARAPURA, to end the day at U BEIN'S BRIDGE, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometer across Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge teems with monks and local people as they stroll home or linger to enjoy the colors of the sunset.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 03: Mandalay ( Breakfast included)
Excursion to Mingun with boat trip
Travel upriver by boat to MINGUN, enjoying the views of river life, fishing villages, market boats, women attending to their washing, and children playing in the water. Explore the ruins of the vast MINGUN PAYA, a monument to human ambition never finished, its size would have dwarfed all contemporary pagodas.
HSINBYUME PAYA: Dating from 1816, this pagoda was first built by King Bagyidaw and dedicated to the memory of his wife, the Hsinbyume Princess. Like many other pagodas, this structure is a symbolic representation of the mythical Mountain Meru. MINGUN BELL: in 1808 Bodawpaya had a gigantic bell cast to go with the gigantic zedi. Weighing 90 tons, it is claimed to be the largest bell in the world.
After that, return downstream by boat to Mandalay.Excursion to Yae Tagon, with visit to an orchid farm before leaving Mandalay, visit an ORCHID FARM, where several varieties of this exotic flower are grown. Continue to YAE KYI VILLAGE, just outside of Mandalay near the base of YAE TAGON MOUNTAIN, and observe the activities of daily life; making bamboo fans and gardening. Drive up to caves situated halfway up the mountain and enjoy the picturesque views of the golf course and endless green rice paddies. From there, begin trekking uphill through jungle landscape to the SHWE HIN THA CAVE area, with a natural stone representation of a Hintha bird at the entrance. (Entering cave is not recommended during the rainy season) Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 04: Mandalay – Departure ( Breakfast included)
After breakfast, leisure time until the transfer to the airport. Transfer to the international airport, assistance with the formalities of recording and take-off bound for Bangkok or other destination. End of our services !